Behavior Research Links

So, I was just talking to someone interesting in doing user research for behavior change, and I put together a set of links for her.  I thought it was a useful list, so also posting it here:

This is a nice collection of resources about UX User Research, including a list of people to follow:  http://www.uxbooth.com/articles/complete-beginners-guide-to-design-research/

A Habit-based Approach to Racial Bias

We all carry around implicit bias. It’s embedded in the culture, and it’s hideously obvious that it can lead to horrible tragic results.
 
This is study that has really been influencing my thinking about a habit-based approach to behavior change. The results actually show reduction in people’s implicit racial bias. It’s remarkable and rare to change something so deeply ingrained.
I’ve been using this study as an example of a habit-based approach to behavior change, but it seems timely to talk about these actual strategies — not as an example, but as an actual opportunity to improve our own bias. 
Here’s the actual study:

Long-term reduction in implicit race bias: A prejudice habit-breaking intervention
Patricia G. Devine, Patrick S. Forscher, Anthony J. Austin, and William T. L. Cox
J Exp Soc Psychol. 2012 Nov; 48(6): 1267–1278.

Here’s what they found:
Students took the Black-White Implicit Association Test (IAT) to test their level of implicit racial bias.  This test is adminstered via Harvard University. I recommend you try it yourself here: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html
Then participants engaged in five habit-based strategies to counteract their own implicit racial bias. This is important because participants watched for their own bias to show up and engaged in deliberately counteracting the incidents with one or more specific habit strategies. This gets at behavior rather than just intent.
Here are the specific strategies from the study:
  • Stereotype replacement
    This strategy involves replacing stereotypical responses for non-stereotypical responses. Using this strategy to address personal stereotyping involves recognizing that a response is based on stereotypes, labeling the response as stereotypical, and reflecting on why the response occurred. Next one considers how the biased response could be avoided in the future and replaces it with an unbiased response (Monteith, 1993). A parallel process can be applied to societal (e.g., media) stereotyping.
  • Counter-stereotypic imaging
    This strategy involves imagining in detail counter-stereotypic others (Blair et al., 2001). These others can be abstract (e.g., smart Black people), famous (e.g., Barack Obama), or non-famous (e.g., a personal friend). The strategy makes positive exemplars salient and accessible when challenging a stereotype’s validity.
  • Individuation
    This strategy relies on preventing stereotypic inferences by obtaining specific information about group members (Brewer, 1988; Fiske & Neuberg, 1990). Using this strategy helps people evaluate members of the target group based on personal, rather than group-based, attributes.
  • Perspective taking
    This strategy involves taking the perspective in the first person of a member of a stereotyped group. Perspective taking increases psychological closeness to the stigmatized group, which ameliorates automatic group-based evaluations (Galinsky & Moskowitz, 2000).
  • Increasing opportunities for contact
    This strategy involves seeking opportunities to encounter and engage in positive interactions with out-group members. Increased contact can ameliorate implicit bias through a wide variety of mechanisms, including altering the cognitive representations of the group or by directly improving evaluations of the group (Pettigrew, 1998; Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006).
The results were successful in reducing implicit racial bias (as measured by the IAT) for the intervention group:
IAT_study
As I mentioned above, this is an exceptional result.  Traditional diversity classes often produce good intentions but little behavior change, and rarely address the deep level of unconscious bias.
Hope this is helpful. – Julie

I’m an Elephant!

Specifically, I’m a Neon Elephant:

Neon_Elephant_2015_435w

The Neon Elephant is an award from Dr. Will Thalheimer of Work-Learning Research, given for bridging the gap between research and learning practice.

This is really delightful, given the company of previous awardees:

  • 2014 – Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel for their book, Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning
  • 2013 –  Gary Klein
  • 2012 – K. Anders Ericsson
  • 2011 – Jeroen van Merriënboer
  • 2010 – Richard E. Clark
  • 2009 – Ruth Clark
  • 2008 – Robert Brinkerhoff
  • 2007 – Sharon Shrock and Bill Coscarelli
  • 2006  – Cal Wick

Lots of smart people on that list.  You should check our their stuff. Thanks Will!

(In other news, the second edition of the book is out.  I’ll be doing a separate announcement on that shortly).

The Best New Learning Book

The best new learning book doesn’t exactly look like a learning book, but trust me on this one, folks.

Cover of Badass: Making User Awesome, by Kathy Sierra

 

As I may have mentioned a few times in the past, Kathy Sierra’s stuff is FANTASTIC and this new book is no exception. I realize that nothing on the cover says “Learning & Development” exactly, but the mission of the title goes right to the heart of the whole purpose of L&D.

Specifically, though, this is one of the best accessible books out there that translates the science of expertise and skill development into compulsively readable material:

badass2

 

badass5

– images from Badass, used with permission

I read a review copy a few months ago, and have been stupid excited with anticipation of the book actually coming out. You can buy it here (and you should).

 

 

An Elearning Design Reading List

books

Several things have led to me actually writing a blog post.  First, I’m home for two whole weeks straight (this alone is a small miracle).  I’m also relatively up to date with my inbox and to do list (much larger miracles). I’m also indulging in some productive procrastination (which is probably the real reason).

Anyway, I typically keep a list of resources when I teach the ATD (ASTD) Advanced Instructional Design for Elearning Certificate, and I keep thinking that I should put the list somewhere.  So here it is:

Blogs et al:

Presentations

Software Tools:

  • Branchtrack and Versal  – two interesting new elearning tools — can’t fully endorse them as they are still beta-ish, but interesting to look at.
  • Quandary Examples – a free (and unsupported) tool for making branched learning games.

Research-based Resources

Behavioral Economics

Books

Anything by Kathy Sierra

The “I can’t believe I forgot…” Add-ons

Updated — some new books that have come out since I originally wrote this post:

 

Stephen Anderson – From Paths to Sandboxes

Sat in on Karl Fast and Stephen Anderson‘s Design for Understanding workshop at the IA Summit last week, and it was double-plus-good.

Here are Stephen’s slides from his IA Summit presentation.  Excellent stuff relating to autonomy in learning environments, and multitudes more:

Gameful Learning – More Sebastian Deterding Goodness

Okay, so I understand that it looks like I just post every Sebastian Deterding presentation on this blog, but really, I don’t.  He’s a prolific guy.  This one is specifically aimed at design for online learning, so it’s double-plus-good, and therefore must be posted here:

Social Norms -or- Hey, What are they doing over there?

I’m working on a change management presentation, and have been looking for some of the social norms research – especially at the practice of using messages that help people understand that the majority of the group is already doing the desired behavior.

Before I close the tabs, I thought I’d collect the most interesting links here (that’s all I have time for today!).

socialproof

Wikipedia entry (which defines it, and rightly points out that outcomes are uneven for this approach) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_norms_approach

Environmental behaviors and social norms (This is a nice summary paper of using social norms in environmental campaigns, influencing behaviors like littering) – http://195.37.26.249/ijsc/docs/artikel/03/3_03_IJSC_Research_Griskevicius.pdf

Thermostats with social feedback (This is one of the actual papers on this pretty widely known example) – http://www.carlsonschool.umn.edu/assets/118375.pdf

Social norms and teen smoking (And feet. An interesting television commercial aimed at social norms and teen smoking) – http://nudges.org/2011/06/14/new-social-norm-campaign-on-teen-smoking-in-texas/

Social norms and tax compliance (using a general appeal vs a social norm appeal to improve tax compliance) – http://www.socialnorms.org/CaseStudies/taxcompliance.php

More social norms and tax compliance (HBR article, though you need registration/subscription to see the whole thing) – http://hbr.org/2012/10/98-of-hbr-readers-love-this-article/ar/1

Social norms and binge drinking (a write up of one of the earlier studies that looked at perceived and actual norms for college students’ drinking behaviors) – http://socialnorms.org/pdf/socnormapproach.pdf